We completed a biophysical characterization of the c-MYC proto-oncogene P1 promoter quadruplex and its interaction with a cationic porphyrin, 5,10,15,20-tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphyrin (TMPyP4), using differential scanning calorimetry, isothermal titration calorimetry, and circular dichroism spectroscopy. We examined three different 24-mer oligonucleotides, including the wild-type (WT) sequence found in the c-MYC P1 promoter and two mutant G→T sequences that are known to fold into single 1:2:1 and 1:6:1 loop isomer quadruplexes. Biophysical experiments were performed on all three oligonucleotide sequences at two different ionic strengths (30 mM [K +] and 130 mM [K+]). Differential scanning calorimetry experiments demonstrated that the WT quadruplex consists of a mixture of at least two different folded conformers at both ionic strengths, whereas both mutant sequences exhibit a single two-state melting transition at both ionic strengths. Isothermal titration calorimetry experiments demonstrated that both mutant sequences bind 4 mols of TMPyP4 to 1 mol of DNA, in similarity to the WT sequence. The circular dichroism spectroscopy signatures for all three oligonucleotides at both ionic strengths are consistent with an intramolecular parallel stranded G-quadruplex structure, and no change in quadruplex structure is observed upon addition of saturating amounts of TMPyP4 (i.e., 4:1 TMPyP4/DNA).
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